Definition of consumptive in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈsəm(p)tiv/


1 dated Affected with a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis: from birth he was sickly and consumptive
More example sentences
  • A dark gray complexion indicates prolonged stagnation of blood such as a consumptive disease with blood deficiency accompanied by menoplania or amenia.
  • It can also be used as an auxiliary treatment for consumptive disease, asthma and diabetes.
  • A fearless and ambitious entrepreneur named Nathan Cross moves with his consumptive wife and two sons to the little town of Defiance, Missouri in 1874.
2chiefly derogatory Relating to the using up of resources: tourism represents an insidious form of consumptive activity
More example sentences
  • Allowing the state to steal from the wealthy alters the full range of productive and consumptive activities - generally for the worse.
  • However, each falls short of the type of provision necessary to allow the consumptive activity contemplated by the proposal.
  • And if climate scientists are right, the cause of our problems is manic, consumptive, fossil-fuel driven human activity.


A person with a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis.
Example sentences
  • He sat behind a walnut desk and could treat every sickness you could name and plenty you couldn't; more impressively, he kept his consumptives alive each year.
  • She performs abortions in secret, supports suffrage, and caters to consumptives and TB sufferers when few other boarding-house establishments will take them.
  • But happily that doesn't mean that it or the hotel is full of spluttering Keatsian consumptives nor that the spa is especially clinical in feel.



Pronunciation: /kənˈsəm(p)tivlē/
Example sentences
  • A dairy cow can drink 20 gallons of water in a day, but only half is used consumptively in milk production.
  • And more people and businesses are drawing that water out consumptively, especially during the hot months.
  • This water is not consumptively used because it simply passes through on its journey to the Gulf of California.


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin consumptivus, from Latin consumpt- 'consumed', from the verb consumere (see consume).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·sump·tive

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